Hostile foreign powers seek to undermine U.S. national security by inserting malicious, counterfeit, or otherwise compromised hardware and software into the critical systems of America’s national security industrial base. The problem is not hypothetical. State-owned companies from adversarial nations and entities linked to terrorist groups are already in our supply chains. The Defense Department purchases $700 billion in goods and services each year through a complex web of contractors and subcontractors, but the current acquisitions process does not provide the U.S. government with full visibility into the companies involved in the creation of our most sensitive systems.
Building on a prior report on how the U.S. government could use blockchain to protect the national security industrial base from supply chain attacks, FDD’s Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab conduct a real-world test with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office in the Defense Department and defense contractor ESC Federal to demonstrate how smart contracts (blockchain-based, digital contracts that are self-aware and self-executing) can provide security and transparency. TCIL’s blockchain was built on the Azure platform thanks to the generous support of Microsoft.